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Cooking Light and MyRecipes Editors Share Their Weirdest Food Habits

Cooking Light and MyRecipes Editors Share Their Weirdest Food Habits


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Some of them are, um, really out there.

Eating habits and food preferences can be super personal (and often quite divisive!) There have been hyperbolic wars fought over pineapple on pizza, and a viral video was born after a woman dipped chicken fingers into her soda at the U.S. Open. All that to say: everyone has weird food habits—some are definitely more out there than others—and those of us who work at Cooking Light and MyRecipes (we share offices!) are not so different.

The other day one of us put the question out there, and I think we were all a little surprised at the answers we got (and quick to defend the answers we gave). So we figured we'd share them with you. We’ve allowed everyone to remain anonymous, so you can’t *outwardly* judge us. Without further ado, here are our weirdest food habits…..(finicky eaters, you might wanna close this tab.)

“I smell everything before I eat it, which by itself isn’t that weird, but I take the craziest measures to smell food. One time I was at a nice buffet, and I couldn’t decide if I wanted the cheese, so I grabbed it with the tongs and put it up to my nose. I smelled it and decided to pass, so I put the cheese back.”

“I purposely burn popcorn and leave marshmallows out to get stale before I eat them.”

“I eat all of my leftovers cold. They’re just better that way.”

“I cannot bear the smell of soft, untoasted pita, so I have to microwave it until it’s rock solid. Also, I can’t cook food on my sheet pans without tin foil.”

“I love green olive and cream cheese sandwiches.”

“I eat ketchup on samosa, pineapple on pizza, and crushed potato chips on vanilla ice cream.”

“I drench everything in hot sauce, red pepper flakes, or straight cayenne pepper. The food becomes inedible for everyone else.”

“I’ll eat the skin on any fruit that isn’t citrus, or a banana.”

“White food, in general, is disgusting. I didn't eat anything white for decades. I met my mother in-law and I didn't realize my husband had told her this. She would casually be like, ‘Um, what color would you say mushrooms are?’ It's mostly dairy-oriented. White shouldnt have flavor.”

“I blend frozen cauliflower and boiled sweet potatoes in smoothies. I also like raw oats better than cooked.”

“I eat dry ramen straight out of the packet. It’s good, like chips.”

“I eat the shrimp shells.”

Got strange eating habits of your own (or just want to out a friend?) Leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter!


Cooking Light Diabetes Recipes?

Having Diabetes means you need to constantly know what is happening with your blood glucose. A dietitian is able to guide you through establishing the eating habits that you need however, there are a few things you can do yourself.

Fibers are contained in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and wheat-based products. Start the day with a serving of cereal that contains fiber and some fruit. Eating fibers decreases the risk of Heart disease.

There are different kinds of fats. The kind of saturated fat that is healthy is found in olive oil, walnuts, almonds and avocados. Mix these ingredients with a fresh lettuce, and you have a great salad.

Fish is the perfect alternative to meat it contains less fat and some kind of fish such as salmon contain omega acids, which helps lower blood fats. Oven-roasted salmon with steamed broccoli is a good choice for dinner after a balanced diet throughout the day.

Remember, fibers, good fats and meat alternatives are good for you. These help control your blood glucose and blood fat. Eliminating foods that are too rich in sodium or trans fats is also necessary. Educate yourself

You might feel like your recipe choice is limited because of your diabetes. In reality, eating differently is necessary, but that does not mean eating the same foods every day. Familiarize yourself with food groups and the glycemic index. The key to healthy eating habits is to know exactly what is on your plate.

A change of habit always requires a certain effort. Frying is definitely not recommended, and steaming or oven-roasting is preferred. Once you have carefully selected what kind of food is healthy for you, you have all the necessary ingredients to experiment with new flavors.


The Weirdest Meal of My Entire Life Was Brunch at Bagatelle in Miami

I’ve lived in Miami for 25 years, so I&aposve seen some shit. I danced with Mickey Rourke at a nightclub called Snatch when I was in high school. I&aposve called the paramedics for strippers who&aposd passed out on yachts. I’ve been involved in a light arson case. But I have never seen anything like what I saw at Sunday brunch at Bagatelle.

I asked my friend Stephanie to join me for a little ladies brunch at the ritzy South Beach restaurant known more for its atmosphere than its food. If you’re a Real Housewives of New York fan you’ll remember Bagatelle as the place Ramona Singer visited when she ditched LuAnn’s hotdogs-at-sea day.

I called ahead to find out what time the place gets popping. “You’ll want to get here at 3. That’s when it gets good,” the hostess said.

When I arrived, Bagatelle was relatively tame save for the ambient lighting and techno music. The space was white and airy, with lots of light pouring in. We were seated at a table that was connected to the DJ booth. That’s when I started to get a little worried. I’m knocked up and just wanted to grub on some good food. I didn’t want to shake my very large, pregnant ass.

Stephanie closed out her tab at the bar and sadly told me, “I just paid $60 for two glasses of champagne and an orange juice.” In the orange juice’s defense, it was garnished with a slice of orange, like it was cannibalizing itself, so it was fancy. At that point I knew we were in for a long, expensive meal.

I opened the menu and tried to act super chill about the fact that their breadbasket was $18. Because I have no regard for money, I ordered the breadbasket. A metal cage containing two stale mini croissants, two wet apricot pastries, and one dry muffin arrived at the table. Stephanie cannot eat gluten, so I was forced to devour the entire basket.

Stephanie ordered a tomato salad, which was thrust unto the table in a hasty manner because our waiter had more important things to do:

After the appetizers, everything went dark fast. I don’t mean in a figurative way. I mean in a literal way. The big, bright windows were covered in thick blackout velvet as the lights completely went out in the restaurant. I had a forkful of $24 tomato salad on my fork that I could no longer see.

Then the sirens came on. And for the next hour and a half, the sirens never stopped. From behind me a barrage of odd characters emerged from the wings of the restaurant. Next to me was a man dressed as a flying squirrel. Across from him was a woman in a zebra onesie wearing a Marie Antoinette wig. And because maybe the restaurant is also a Pokémon Go Pokéstop, out came Pikachu. It was like the Disney character breakfast on acid.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any weirder, two men wearing horrifying Pennywise clown masks jumped up on the bar and started hosing everyone down with dry ice.

Before we go any further, there are two things you need to know about me: I hate clubs and I hate clowns. I started to sweat uncomfortably. It was loud, it was hot, I was covered in smoke, and I couldn&apost see my goddamn tomato salad.

Our appetizers were cleared away, and we tried to read the menu, which was difficult because of the strobe lights. If you suffer from seizures or coulrophobia, do not go to Bagatelle.

Everyone in the restaurant was now out of their seats, gyrating on the dance floor next to me. I didn’t realize I was seated on the dance floor, but alas, I sure was. I tried to stand up to get to the bathroom but was almost knocked over by a procession of waiters carrying a woman in a Supergirl costume holding a bottle of champagne with sparklers in it.

Stephanie went to find our waiter to ask if we’re allowed to order more food. We really weren’t sure. No one was eating. By 4 p.m., Bagatelle was a full-fledged nightclub.

She located our waiter and tried to order, but because of the strobe lights she accidentally poked him in the eye. Because of the music he couldn&apost hear her. Because of the clowns I was crying.

It was at this point in the day (was it day? was it night? I became disoriented from the sirens and gyrating waiters) we finally received our entrees.

Stephanie ordered a $70 whole chicken with roast potatoes, mushrooms, and cipollini onions. I ordered the $28 coquillettes au jus, jambon et emmental. Which is a fancy way of saying mac n’ cheese with ham chunks. Now, I need to warn you, these aren’t very good food pictures because I was photographing the dishes under strobe lights—not exactly optimal conditions.

We ate about six bites of food, which comes to about $16.33 per forkful. Cool.

Something about the combination of heavy French food, strobe lights, and techno music was making me nauseated. I needed to see the light of day. Stephanie offered to settle the bill while I escaped from this brunch-cum-disco hell.

Although Bagatelle was the weirdest place I’ve ever eaten (not counting Rainforest Cafe, RIP) it was kind of charming. Sure, the food isn’t great, and sure, the music sucked, but it is the perfect club for a pregnant lady. I was able to eat a mediocre meal on the dance floor, and I guess that was worth the price of admission. And indigestion.


Weirdest Takeaways from the Manhattan Cocktail Classic

Gaz Regan Courtesy of MboothOver the weekend, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic came to town, starting with a grand gala at the New York Public Library on Friday and continuing through Monday night at the Andaz Hotel with specialized seminars, spirit-sponsored suites and a gallery full of tasting tables. With the alcohol flowing so freely, it's only natural to witness some odd behavior and walk away with TMI. Here, a few oddball experiences and tips. >

Gaz Regan Courtesy of Mbooth

Over the weekend, the Manhattan Cocktail Classic came to town, starting with a grand gala at the New York Public Library on Friday and continuing through Monday night at the Andaz Hotel with specialized seminars, spirit-sponsored suites and a gallery full of tasting tables. With the alcohol flowing so freely, it&aposs only natural to witness some odd behavior and walk away with TMI. Here, a few oddball experiences and tips.

Hemingway&aposs Chilling Secret
At a Sunday morning seminar on Ernest Hemingway&aposs drinking habits, To Have and Have Another author Philip Greene revealed that the resourceful writer liked his martinis so cold that he would garnish them with frozen cocktail onions and chill pitchers of them with massive ice cubes made in tennis ball cans.

Professional Flashers
Friday night’s gala was packed with people dressed to the nines in tuxes and gowns, so the wandering couples wearing trench coats stood out. Even odder was when they opened their coats to reveal the skimpiest of outfits𠅋riefs for him, bikini for her. Then they would close up and walk on, leaving guests to look at their drinks suspiciously and consider easing up on the Dark n’ Stormies.

Campari Wedding
On Sunday night, Campari hosted a star-bartender-studded bash at Gallow Green, the bar at the top of the McKittrick Hotel where the interactive play/experience Sleep No More takes place. There, bartenders like Leo Robitschek of The Nomad and Jacques Bezuidenhout mixed up Campari drinks from around the world inspired by the “love” story of Davide Campari (Campari founder Gaspare Campari’s son) and opera singer Lina Cavalieri. Back when they were alive, Davide was so obsessed with Lina that he followed her wherever she travelled from Italy to Russia—spreading the good word of Campari as he went. She never fell for him, because, well, he was a stalker. So on Sunday night, Campari rewrote history and wed the two. Actors portraying Davide and Lina were married by bartender and cocktail writer extraordinaire Gaz Regan who, clad in a caftan, bound them with negroni-inspired vows.

Finger-Stirring
One of the most off-putting cocktails during the gala was Gaz Regan’s finger-stirred negroni. It is exactly as it sounds: A standard negroni made with gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, which Regan stirs with his fingers. Not for germaphobes, but oddly one of the best cocktails of the event.


Travel Stories

After traveling around the world, what is the most memorable food?
Most memorable is still the family meal in Ecuador where the hungry kids offered me their worms. I will never forget it.

Which country do you think makes the best roasted whole pig?
I like Jamaican jerked whole pig, Samoan cooked in a rock pit, and Sardinian wood-roasted.

Has the political stability of any country been a factor in choosing which countries you go to?
We don’t care, I like the danger of some places.

What was one of the nicest places you have been to as far as being welcomed by the people?
Syria.

Hi Andrew! Some bonus material showed a woman in a clay hut, answering her cell. I did not think those areas were so into technology, is it common and will we be seeing jungle tribes walking around with them?
Happens all the time these days. Sad.


Pandemic May Shift Americans' Cooking Habits for Good, New Study Finds

It&aposs perhaps the understatement of a lifetime to say that a lot of things have changed since early 2020. By now, many of us can hardly remember what it&aposs like to enjoy a totally carefree, maskless meal at a restaurant. As a result, we&aposve collectively had little choice but to spend more time cooking (not to mention baking) at home. 

While the prospect of vaccination has folks thinking about a light at the end of the tunnel and a potential return to "normal," it would seem that some of the changes we&aposve adopted to our eating habits may be here to stay, at least if some survey data from consumer market research firm Hunter holds true. 

The main takeaway? We&aposre cooking more and plan to stick with it. A majority of folks seem to have recognized the benefits of making our own meals at at home, as 71 percent of respondents say they&aposll continue to cook for themselves after the pandemic ends and we&aposre no longer spending as much time at home. 

Those who say they plan to stick with their commitment to cooking cite a few reasons: 67 percent said saving money was a major factor, while 56 percent cited both a desire to eat healthier and savoring the good feeling that comes from cooking for yourself as reasons to keep at it. A full 81 percent said that they&aposre finding enjoyment in their newfound habit, and 50 percent said they&aposre more confident in their ability to feed themselves than they once were. Fittingly, almost the same number of respondents (47 percent) say they&aposve been branching out and adding new ingredients to the mix. 

When it came to other ways in which our food habits have changed since lockdowns began, results were mixed. Americans still say they&aposre wasting less food than they did before the pandemic, but the 42 percent who say they&aposre more mindful of food waste was a decline from the 58 percent recorded in April, so it&aposs hard to say whether or not we&aposll collectively stick with that kind of change in behavior. On the other hand, 56 percent said they&aposre balance of healthy to indulgent eating is at pre-pandemic levels, up from 42 percent back in April 2020, suggesting that our diets have stabilized a bit from those early dark days. 

So whether you&aposve taken Zoom cooking classes, challenged yourself to cook with the ingredients lingering in your pantry, or just perfected a family favorite recipe, there&aposs been at least some small silver lining amid these otherwise difficult times. Maybe once this is all over we&aposll have to get together and have some sort of giant potluck. 


Amazon Shoppers Say This $7 Magnetic Cheat Sheet Makes 'Converting Measurements a Breeze'

Even the most experienced home cooks can admit that every now and then they need a cheat sheet, whether it&aposs to figure out air frying times or how long to grill steak  a perfect medium rare. And while you likely know that three teaspoons equals one tablespoon, there might be other, less standard measurement conversions you&aposre not too familiar with. 

Enter the Talented Kitchen Magnetic Conversion Chart, a handy cheat sheet rife with useful measurement conversions-right at your fingertips. Rather than using flour-caked hands to enlist Google for help, all you have to do is look to this magnet, which includes the most common conversions. You&aposll be able to quickly and efficiently alter weight conversions, including ounces, pounds, and grams, as well as liquid volume measurements like fluid ounces, teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, pints, quart, gallons, and liters. You&aposll even be able to adapt Celsius temperatures into Fahrenheit.

The water-resistant magnet can be placed above the stove or on the fridge-anywhere that&aposs easy to access-without the need to worry that it will warp over time. And since it&aposs designed with a large font, it&aposs easy to glance over and gain the information you need.   

To buy: Talented Kitchen Magnetic Kitchen Conversion Chart, $7 at amazon.com

Hundreds of Amazon shoppers love having this hands-free conversion chart at easy reach, with many reviewers saying the cheat sheet saves them so much time in the kitchen. Others note that it&aposs "easy to read and understand" and call it a "must for all cooking and baking use."

"If you are like me, the digital age has hit you hard," one person wrote. "You end up having to use your smartphone to look up nearly everything. But one thing that always twists my whiskers is getting flour and sticky stuff all over my phone while trying to cook in the kitchen. That&aposs where this handy little hands-free item comes in handy. It&aposs a little bigger than my hand and I can slap it anywhere with a metal surface. I put it on the fridge, so it&aposs a few steps from the stove and kitchen island."

"Exactly what I needed!" another shared. "Easy to read, looks nice in the kitchen, and makes converting measurements a breeze. As a baker, this is important and I don&apost need to Google some of the less common conversions anymore-I can just look at my little magnet."

Whether you&aposre new to baking or simply  tired of looking up measurement conversions online, shop the Talented Kitchen Magnetic Conversion Chart for just $7 on Amazon. 


There's no doubt about it: Cheese is one of the most timeless desserts around. The combination of a sweet, buttery graham cracker crust, the cake's luscious texture, and that sweet cheesy flavor is nothing short of spectacular. The basic cheesecake recipe is made with cream cheese, sour cream, egg yolks, sugar, and a touch of lemon juice. While the ingredients required for making a cheesecake are simple, you need a specialty springform pan for baking and easy release. A classic cheesecake recipe bakes for at least two hours, then chills for a minimum of eight hours until it's cold all the way through. Serve a slice as is, or top your pieces with a handful of fresh berries for a pop of color and tart contrast.

Of course, we have dozens of variations on the classic cheesecake recipe. We have flavored iterations such as key lime or chocolate cheesecake, cheesecake served in the form of a tart, sheet cake, or bars, and even no-bake versions that swap the usual egg yolks for other decadent ingredients such as sweetened condensed milk, ricotta cheese, or whipped cream. You could also take a page out of Martha's mother's book and try her recipe for Country Cheesecake, pictured here, which is made with farmer's cheese instead of the usual cream cheese, and a tart dough for the crust made from flour, confectioner's sugar, egg yolks, and sour cream.

Whether you choose to make a classic New York-style bakery cheesecake or enjoy one of our more innovative takes (Pumpkin Cheesecake Crunch Bites, anyone?), these cheesecake recipes result in a delightful dessert anytime of the year.


Surprising Uses for Everyday Foods

From cleaning your kitchen to soothing your sunburn, surprising uses for kitchen staples.

A lemon half can be a pretty great cleaning tool. Rubbing it on a cutting board scrubs away stubborn stains and odors (though it doesn&apost disinfect, so be sure to wash stuff when necessary as well). Dip one in salt and you can use it to polish copper or brass. Best of all, it smells a lot better than most acrid metal cleaners or bleach!

What other tricks do foods have up their sleeves (or…um…rinds)? It turns out, a bunch! Here are a few of our favorites.

-Matt Thompson, Associate Food Editor for EatingWell

How to Soothe Your Sunburn

Soothe your sunburn by halving a cucumber lengthwise and rubbing it on scorched skin as you would aloe, suggests Alan Logan, N.D., co-author of Your Skin, Younger (Sourcebooks, 2010): "Vitamin C can turn down the dial on inflammation damage in the skin."

Clean glass with vinegar. Just dilute it with water and avoid all those harsh chemicals in conventional cleaners.

Scrub pots by making a paste from baking soda and water. This is a great way to use all those half-boxes of too-old-to-bake-with baking soda that are cluttering your cupboard.

How to Rid Your Garden of Slugs

Rid your garden of slugs with beer. EatingWell&aposs gardening expert Barbara Ganley tells me, "Put beer into a bottle and then bury it on its side until the bottom rim of the mouth is on the dirt." The slugs, attracted by the starchy smell of beer, will ooze their way down the neck and then not be able to crawl out.

How to Polish Leather Shoes

Polish leather shoes with banana peels. Really! This one sounded so crazy I had to go to Dole for confirmation. They say, "Some old-timers swear by banana skins as a beautifier for leather shoes. After rubbing the soft inside on the shoe surface remember to buff and polish with a cloth."

How to Ripen Fruit Faster

Ripen fruit faster using…ripe fruit. This really works! If you&aposve got a rock-hard avocado you were hoping to use or a few overly green bananas, you can throw them in a paper bag with a few ripe apples and they&aposll ripen more quickly. I had Dr. Eugene Kupferman of the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center explain it to me. It turns out that ripe fruit gives off a gas called ethylene that helps unripe fruit ripen more quickly.


Cooking Light Bonanza

This month’s double anniversary issue of Cooking Light magazine (November 2012) looked good enough to eat. The headlines, scattered all over the chocolate-hued cover, were obviously meant to delight. “The Best Fast Meals Ever,” “Best Recipes of Our First 25 Years,” “The Most Delicious Desserts” and more. Hard not to fall in love. I write a column for Cooking Light called Radically Simple and in this edition are three stunning starters meant expressly for your Thanksgiving table. There’s a tri-colore salad (endive, watercress, radicchio) with an addictive bacon-cider-maple dressing a creamy pumpkin-red pepper soup thickened with sweet potato and perfumed with five-spice powder and rosemary, and phyllo cups filled with ricotta, chèvre and fresh thyme. Looks like you cooked all week. Yet the recipes, in keeping with the column’s intention, are radically simple to prepare.

But this special issue has had me devouring each of its 296 pages and inspiring me to cook so many OPR! (Other People’s Recipes!) Want an idea? There’s Creamy Lobster Pappardelle, Cavatappi with Browned Brussels Sprouts and Buttery Breadcrumbs, Scallion Pancakes with Korean Dipping Sauce, Fiery Chicken Thighs with Persian Rice, Soy-Citrus Scallops with Soba Noodles, and Fresh Ginger Cake with Candied Citrus Glaze,

And I was totally wowed by the food of 13-year old Flynn McGarry, the culinary avatar to the mesmerizing talents of pianist Lang Lang when he was of a similar age.

To the list of most important Italian cookbooks of the last 25 years, however, I would stand up and add the delicious and encyclopedic tome Naples at Table, written by renowned Italian cooking expert, historian and teacher, Arthur Schwartz.

Best of all (and I love to learn new things every day), was a word I stumbled upon in the ingredient list for a winter citrus-and-escarole salad. In the spirit of full disclosure, I had never heard the word before! Pomegranate arils! Apparently, it’s a popular crossword puzzle word. Look it up!

Here’s my recipe for Creamy Pumpkin-Red Pepper Soup. Enjoy.

Creamy Pumpkin-Red Pepper Soup

Hands-on time: 30 min.
Total time: 60 min.

The soup can be topped with a variety of things: I love Parmigiano-Reggiano and rosemary, but savory sprinkles like chopped smoked almonds or toasted pecans would be lovely. This tastes even better the next day … or the day after.

3 cups chopped peeled fresh pumpkin
2 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled sweet potato
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
5 cups no-salt-added chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt toss well. Place vegetable mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender, stirring once.
3. Combine vegetables, stock, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan bring to a boil. Reduce heat simmer 5 minutes. Place half of vegetable mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape) secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining vegetable mixture. Stir in butter. Top with rosemary, if desired.


Watch the video: The Most Unusual Foods that Only Exist in China (November 2022).